Television John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV
Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.
Yes, it looks like Jim O'Brien won't be at WLWT-TV (Ch 5) much beyong November sweeps. After a flurry of posts on my blog Tuesday saying his contract was not renewed, I emailed him and gave him a chance to deny it -- or explain what's up. His reply: "Due to the station's contractual agreement, I cannot comment at this time." Doesn't sound like a guy who's vehemently denying that he's getting let go?
News to Them But here's the bigger question: Why have Ch. 5 managers been so clueless for decades? What works in Cincinnati TV news is consistency and stability. That's why Rob & Kit, Clyde & Carol and Jack & Tricia have such a strong, loyal following. They do a good job, and they're there (almost) every night. And when changes are made (Raleigh for Delkus), they are few and far between. The only thing consistent about Ch. 5 is change. What in the name of Tony Sands is going on there? O'Brien was the fifth chief meteorologist in 8 years. But it's not just a change in the weather. Look at all the anchor team changes: Norma Rashid, Charlie Luken, Ann Marie Tiernon, Dave Wagner, Sandra Ali, Sheree Paolello, etc. So let's have some fun today. Help me list all the former Channel 5 meteorologists. Tom Burse was fired in 1997, and after him came Dave Fraser, Angelique Frame, Byron Webre and Jim O'Brien. Before Burse was Joe Lizura, Pat Barry, Steve Horstmeyer and who else? And the Not Ready for PrimeTime Meteorologists at 5 have included Suzanne Horigan, Mark Massaro, Tony Mann, Chris Wright. And Chris Cimino, now at WNBC-TV in NY and "Today" show fill-in. Who else?
I need your help: Do you know Andrea Shirley, 28, the Cincinnati area contestant on "The Bachelor: Rome?" All ABC will say is that she’s "a hotel concierge who currently resides in Cincinnati." Did you go to school or college with her? Live in her neighborhood? Work with her?Know she was in Italy taping the show in late August? If so, please email me at email@example.com. And please provide your name and daytime phone number, so I can reach you. Andrea and her family can’t talk to the press until she exits the show, so I’m counting on you. Tell me what you know. "The Bachelor: Rome" premieres Monday, Oct. 2, on ABC (, Ch 9). Andrea is one of 27 women – 25 Americans and two "Italian beauties" – seeking to impress Italian Prince Lorenzo Borghese.
Fall TV stuff Thanks for the comments on "Shark," "Brothers & Sisters" and "Studio 60." I think all three will make it…. I really liked the second "Studio 60" last night, but worry that it was maybe too much inside TV stuff – the network press conference (been to many of those), the reference to Fox, the talk about small TV markets refusing to carry the show… Did you like the second episode?
Did anyone like NBC’s "Heroes?" The characters interested me, but I thought they failed to connect enough dots for me. It will be interesting to see if viewers stick with it. (NBC repeats Monday’s pilot at today.) Or watch it at www.nbc.com.
Also new tonight: Ted Danson as a psychiatrist on "Help Me Help You" at , immediately following "Dancing with the Stars." The sitcom was average, certainly not as clever as the "Danson on ABC" promo that airs during "Dancing."
Local alert Daniel Wisler, 25, of Fairfield makes his debut on "The Unit" (, Ch. 12) as Jeremy Erhart, a U.S. Army veteran being heavily recruited by Molly Blane (Regina Taylor) for the private sector, much to the chagrin of "The Unit" members.
Radio note I was surprised to hear WCIN-AM (1480) all the way up I-71 to the Little Miami River bridge. After a five-year wait, the FCC finally approve a power increase for WCIN-AM from 250 to 4,500 watts daytime. The power boost will make the station more attractive to potential buyers. The station was placed in receivership in January, so it can be sold to pay off debts more than $950,000. More details are in my story today:
Buy the Book For you fans of "The Book of Daniel," the NBC drama quickly canceled last January about Aidan Quinn as a pill-popping minister: The entire series, including four episodes not aired by NBC, is being released on DVD today by Universal Studios Home Entertainment ($29.98). The 2-disc set includes the two-hour pilot and deleted scenes.
Yes, another radio note today, but this is pretty cool. I just heard about a website where you can look at and compare play lists for radio stations. So if you're looking for a new station to replace "Jammin' Oldies," or just curious about who's playing what, go to www.yes.com. If you type Cincinnati into the search engine, it will give you a list of area radio stations. Click on the station, and you get the real-time play list. Pretty cool.
Shark bites tonight James Woods' new "Shark" drama debuts at 10 p.m. today (Ch 12) against ABC's new "Six Degrees" and NBC's "ER." Of the three, I'd watch "Shark." Woods plays an egocentric defense-lawyer-turned-assistant prosecutor who denegrates the young staffers who admire him and want to learn from him. (Sounds like "House?") I think it will take a bite out of aging "ER," which is due a drop in the ratings. I didn't like "Six Degrees" that much. Creator J.J. Abrams does connect-the-dots between six strangers in NY, but I couldn't get emotionally invested with the characters. To me, it doesn't compare with the magnetic pull of his "Lost," "Alias" or "Felicity." I see this as third in the time period, maybe second if "ER" struggles out of the gate.
Sunday best The show not to miss Sunday is Calista Flockhart's "Brothers & Sisters" at 10 p.m. (Ch. 9). After watching it, I can see why it got the prized time slot following "Desperate Housewvies," which returns at 9 p.m. Sunday. (Though I wouldn't have moved "Grey's Anatomy" to 9 p.m. Thursday against "CSI," but maybe it doesn't matter in our TiVo world. I bet ABC moves "Grey's" before Thanksgiving to another slot.) "B&S," like "The West Wing," requires full attention so you can figure out who's who in the premiere, but that won't be a problem after a week or two. Flockhart stars as daughter Kitty, a conservative radio talk host in NY. She comes home to LA to see her parents (Tom Skerritt, Sally Field) and sisters and brothers (Rachel Griffiths, Matthew Rhys, Dave Annable, Balthazar Getty). The cast also includes Patricia Wettig and Ron Rifkin. Think "thirtysomething" for a new generation of viewers. (Ken Olin from thirtysomething is executive producer/director.) This one could be a hit, especially in tandem to "Desperate Housewives."
If you watch "Shark" or "Brothers & Sisters," -- or anything else that you love or hate -- let me know. I'm outta here Friday. Will catch up to you Monday.
One of my favorite new fall shows arrives tonight: CBS' "Jericho" (, Ch 12, 7). I call it "Lost in a cornfield." It has succesfully copied many of the suspenseful elements of "Lost," in this drama about a small Kansas town cut off from the rest of the nation after a nuclear explosion in the Denver area. Like "Lost," the folks don’t know what dangers are Out There beyond their group. I know some TV critics didn’t like the show, but I did. It’s my second-favorite new show, to NBC’s "Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip." And I think "Jericho" has a better chance for survival than "Invasion," "Surface" or "Threshold" did last year. CBS wisely put it at , so "Lost" fans may tune in an hour early. "Lost" fans may watch tonight, since "Lost" doesn’t return for two weeks (Oct. 4).
Lost & Found And here’s another heads up for "Lost" fans: ABC will air 6 new episodes through Nov. 8 – then it will go away until February sweeps. It’s the "Prison Break" and "NYPD Blue" treatment… When "Lost" returns next year, it will run continuously into May sweeps, like "24." Taye Diggs' "Day Break,"a "Groundhog Day"-like series, will debut Wednesday, Nov. 15.
"Kidnapped" & CW NBC’s "Kidnapped" also debuts tonight at (Ch. 5). I found the opening a little confusing, but by the end of the hour nearly everyone is a possible suspect. I liked Fox’s "Vanished" pilot better – but have lost track of the show since. To me, it’s 50-50 whether "Kidnapped" makes it through the year or not. And the CW rolls out the first new show tonight, "America's Next Top Model," at 8 p.m., after two nights of reruns.
Fall TV feedback I’m interested in your opinions on “Jericho,” “Kidnapped,” "Studio One" and other new shows, so post to this blog if you watch tonight.
MOJO update Morning man Keith Mitchell has produced a one-hour MOJO salute to air at tonight on WMOJ-FM (94.9), the final hour for the “Jammin’ Oldies” station. At midnight, the MOJO call letters and branding moves up the dial to 100.3, as Radio One (WIZ and BUZZ owners) launch a new station on a new frequency targeting African-Americans 30 and older. Mitchell and the MOJO staff has posted a nice thank-you to listeners on the station web site. http://www.mojo949.com/ It’s not clear if any of the MOJO staff will move to the new station. The new MOJO has only 4 openings – and the “Quiet Storm” - show – and two weekend part-timers, says Phillip David March, program director for WIZ and the new MOJO. March will do on MOJO, as he does now on WIZ, starting in late October. (The first 4-5 weeks will be music intensive, with no DJs.) The new MOJO will have a syndicated morning show, probably Tom Joyner from the BUZZ. (It’s definitely not Steve Harvey, I’m told.) So only 4 openings doesn’t leave much for the old MOJO staff, which just learned about the format sale a week ago. For more about the new MOJO, see my story today. http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060920/NEWS01/609200368/-1/CINCI
STAR replaces MOJO Starting 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Cumulus’ country STAR 96.5 will be simulcast on both 94.9 and 96.5 for two weeks. The 94.9 signal (on the Ch 64 tower on Winton Road in College Hill) will give the country station better penetration into Northern Kentucky, and a better shot at competing with B105 (WUBE-FM, 105.1). The 96.5 signal is on the WLW tower in Mason. B105 was No. 2 in spring ratings; STAR was No. 12. No word on what will replace STAR country on 96.5 in October. (Go back to 96 Rock?) Stay tuned.
This just in... The new CinCW can be seen on Time Warner digital Channel 913. Right now!(as they'd say on Channel 19.) The carriage started this afternoon, and will be there 24/7, says Pam McDonald, Cincinnati Time Warner vice president for public affairs. If you have Time Warner -- but not digital level cable -- you can also see just the CW prime-time from 8-10 p.m. on TW basic Ch. 2, a commercial access (infomercial) channel for the first month.
So here's the deal as I know it know on how to find WKRC-TV's digital-spectrum CinCW, or digital Channel 12.2, on Time Warner:
--On digital Channel 913, around the clock. --On basic cable, CW prime-time only will air on Time Warner Ch. 2, for the first four weeks. The CW launches tonight with a "7th Heaven" rerun of the May finale at 8, and a CW promotional special at 9. On Tuesday, CW repeats the "Gilmore Girls" May finale. The "7th Heaven" and "Gilmore Girls" season starts next week. --Starting Oct. 18, the CinCW will be seen 24/7 on Time Warner Ch. 20. It also remains on digital Ch. 913, McDonald says.
--On Oct. 18, Time Warner will drop low-power WBQC-TV, McDonald says. It has been carried for five hours a day () on Ch. 20 since 2001. With the end of UPN last week, WBQC-TV (broadcast Channel 38) now is an independent station with syndicated series, reruns and movies.
WBQC news Elliott Block, WBQC-TV (over-the-air Ch 38) owner and GM, says he'll talk to Time Warner about being added to the ditigal tier. TW had proposed that a year ago, he says, but he turned them down to keep his 5-hour window on basic cable. Now it's his best option. And he says it will end the confusion for people who would look for WBQC during the day on Time Warner, and find home shopping on Ch. 20 instead of his scheduled programming. This is the second time he's been knocked off the air by the CinCW. DirecTV dropped him too, starting today.
Time Warner officials here tell me this afternoon they have agreed to carry the new CincCW digital spectrum station launching Monday by WKRC-TV to carry "Gilmore Girls," "7th Heaven" and other former WB and UPN programs. But they don’t know when Time Warner start carrying the CinCW (technically digital spectrum Channel 12.2), or on what channel. Representatives for Time Warner and Clear Channel, owners of Channel 12 and the new digital Channel 1.2.2, negotiated until 1 a.m. Sunday to reach an agreement, says Pam McDonald, Cincinnati Timer Warner vice president for public affairs. "All I know is it (CinCW) will be available on Time Warner cable. The final details of the agreement are being worked out," she says. Channel 12 wanted the CinCW on basic analog cable (Channels 2-25), not on Time Warner’s 900-level digital tier, says Chris Sehring, Channel 12 vice president and general manager. Northern Kentucky’s Insight Communications and DirecTV satellite each have agreed to put the CinCW on Channel 25. "Being on basic cable is key to us, so we reach the most people. We want analog (basic cable) play on Time Warner, as we are on Insight and DirecTV," Sehring says. As of Sunday afternoon, he had not heard details of a final agreement between Clear Channel and Time Warner corporate. The CincCW would reach 66 percent of the TV homes in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky if carried by Time Warner, Insight and DirecTV, Sehring says. Without Time Warner, it would be less than 25 percent. The new CinCW station can only be received over-the-air by digital high-definition TV sets with a tuner and antenna. Channel 12.2 is an affiliate of the new CW network debuting Monday, which will have the best of the defunct WB and UPN. By 2009, all local TV broadcasts will switch from analog to digital, requiring analog TV set owners to get a digital converter box, cable or satellite TV.
It's 7 p.m. Friday night, and still no deal for Time Warner to carry the new CW network. If they don't reach an agreement with Channel 12 to carry the new digital Channel 12.2 (aka the CinCW), I would hate to be the Time Warner operator Moonday. Not just every "Gilmore Girls," "7th Heaven, " "Smallville," "WWE Smackdown" "Everybody Hates Chris" or "America's Next Top Model" fan could be calling... But also some customers who have been mislead by Time Warner Customer Service employees. Two people I trust -- a coworker and a Channel 12 department head -- have called Time Warner in the past month and were assured that the cable operator would definitely have the new CW channel. So Time Warner may have a lot of irate customers come Monday! For now, ifyou want to get the CW you need: --Insight Cable, Channel 25. --DirecTV Channel 25, tho Channel 12 folks caution that it might take a few days next week. --An antenna to get Channel 26 out of Dayton. --Or an HDTV, tuner and antenna to get Channel 12.2 over the air.
If anything breaks over the weekend, you'll read it here first. --Kiese
What a cool way to go: The WB signs off Sunday night with a look back at its greatest hits. On the final day of the WB, WSTR-TV (Channel 64) and other affiliates will air the pilots for "Felicity" (), "Angel" (), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" () and "Dawson’s Creek" () with that Katie Couric line... The CW debuts Monday on digital Channel 12.2 (CinCW) and Dayton's Channel 26 (some can get it here over the air) with a repeat of the "7th Heaven" season finale.The first new CW show will be "America’s Next Top Model" at Wenesday. The new "7th Heaven" and "Gilmore Girls" arrive the week of Sept. 25.
Nothing new with Time Warner Nope. Nothing. Nada. No deal yet for Time Warner to pick up the new CinCW, Channel 12’s new digital spectrum Channel 12.2 for the CW on Monday.
If they reach a carriage deal, I'll post it asap.
Breaking news! This just in from Pat Barry, Jerry Springer’s best friend. (Did you see Pat Barry in the audience, clapping for Jerry, during the “Dancing with the Stars” debut Tuesday?) Jerry’s partner, Australian dance champion Kym Johnson, fell and hurt her knee Thursday. (No, not while dancing with Springer.) She’ll be examined today. There is the chance that Springer could have to learn a new dance with a new partner for ABC’s live telecast Tuesday.
Barry, a Clear Channel radio salesman here and former DJ and TV weatherman, says he saw Heidi Mueller at the "DWTS" premiere Tuesday, with Mario Lopez's mom. Heidi is the daughter of Don "Who Wants To Marry My Dad?" Mueller. She joined the cast of NBC's "Passions" after the reality TV show. She wasn't seen on camera during "DWTS." Her dad says Heidi and Mario "have been hanging out lately."
Talking about Heroes
Local producer-director Jim Friedman asks for your help in putting together his second annual TV special profiling the six new "Everyday Freedom Heroes" to be honored Nov. 11 by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Like last year, the one-hour program will inclue "soap box" segments with people commenting on freedom, heroes, courage, cooperation or perseverance. He’s looking for "powerful, passionate, engaging, insightful, interesting or humorous presentations" in 20- to 40-second sound bites. They can be in the form of stories, songs, poems or "quick thoughts." Those interested should e-mail written presentations or questions to Friedman (firstname.lastname@example.org) at his Blind Squirrel Production Group. Segments will be taped next month. Participants will be compensated. After the Nov. 11 premeire screening at the FreedomCenter, the "Pepsi Everyday Freedom Heroes" show will air on Ch. 9 in January, he says.
Big news in the radio world today: Instead of starting up a new R&B adult contemporary station from scratch next week to compete with MOJO, the WIZF-FM (WIZ 101.1) has bought the rival-to-be. Radio One, operators of THE WIZ and WDBZ-AM (BUZZ 1230), paid $5 million cash today for the intellectual property – the call letters and format, basically everything but the frequency – to use on the new 100.3 FM station launching next Thursday. Earlier this year, Radio One – the largest radio company primarily targeting African-Americans -- paid $18 million for WIFE-FM (100.3) in Connersville, Ind., and move it to Cincinnati.Talks began two weeks ago with Susquehanna Radio, owners of WMOJ-FM, WRRM-FM (WARM98) and WYGY-FM (STAR 96.5), about buying the MOJO branding. "Jammin’ oldies" listeners for the past 7-1/2 years are in for some big changes next week, as the station appeals to African-American women. The "rhythm and blues and classic soul" station will play lots of Luther Vandross, Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton and Alicia Keys, and a lot less Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Bee Gees. The deal allows Radio One to interview MOJO’s current full-time and part-time DJs. But the Keith Mitchell-Laura Powell morning show won’t continue. The new MOJO has plans for another morning show, says Lisa Thal, VP and GM. Don’t be surprised if they move syndicated Tom Joyner from the BUZZ to MOJO. Radio One’s similar urban adult contemporary in Dayton, WRNB-FM (92.1), has Joyner in the morning. And here's an odd, historic twist to this story: The station at 94.9 was involved in an intellectual property sale once before. In 1995, it sold rights to "WOFX-FM, The Fox" to Jacor/Clear Channel, which moved it to 92.5 to replace "WPPT-FM, The Point." Then 94.9 went Smooth Jazz as "WVAE-FM, The Wave" until switching to MOJO in 1999.
What's next? So what will be heard on 94.9 next Thursday? My guess is they’ll move the country STAR 96.5 to 94.9, which has a stronger signal in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
Then what will they put on 96.5? What formats could they try? (Just guessing again, but it probably won't be Smooth Jazz.)
Another question: Did folks at oldies WGRR-FM (103.5) celebrate this news Thursday? It could be a big winner in the move. The current MOJO audience is about 36% African-American. When the new MOJO targets the African-American audience, will some of the old MOJO audience switch to GRR oldies? Will GRR music get a little bit more jammin’? Other markets have dumped the oldies format, but with part of the old MOJO audience up for grabs, this might sustain GRR for a good while.
Calls of the Wild
Last question: Remember when 94.9 was Lite95 in Fairfield, and 96.5 in Hamilton was named WYGY-FM for Young Country in 1992? Before that 96.5 was also known as the River (WZRZ), the country Beaver (WBVE) and disco WSKS-FM -- known by some in the radio biz as Radio Sucks -- or Hamilton's old WQMS-FM.
If you’re headed to Oktoberfest this weekend, stop by the Westin for your 10 seconds of fame. A crew from 3CDC will be taping the "1,000 Faces of Cincinnati" that will play on the new giant TV screen atop Macy's, overlooking Fountain Square. Taping hours are noon-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The idea certainly isn't original -- but it will be fun.
Participants will be asked to sign a waiver, then to sit on a stool and smile for the camera. There will be no sound recording. Each face will appear for 10 seconds on a continuous video loop that debuts when the renovated Fountain Square reopens Oct. 14.
CET taping too WCET-TV will tape oral histories of people sharing stories about their fight for equality Saturdayat the NationalUndergroundRailroadFreedomCenter. Speakers can comment “on any issue dealing with the struggle for human rights,” says Katie Weitkamp, CET promotions producer. Some of the 10-minute interviews will be streamed at www.CETconnect.org to promote a repeat of the award-winning "Eyes on the Prize" documentary about the Civil Rights movement ( Oct. 2, 9 and 16, Channel 48).
TV tonight I’ve got to admit that Jerry Springer surprised me last night on "Dancing with the Stars." No, he wasn’t the worst…We’ll find out tonight if he’s the first to go (as he predicts), or if he hangs on for a few weeks. There’s no way he’ll win. Mario Lopez, Vivica A. Fox, Joey Lawrence and even Emmitt Smith looked pretty strong last night.
Just spoke to a Cincinnati Time Warner executive, who was "really optimistic" that the biggest cable operator here would pick up WKRC-TV's new digital-spectrum CW station (Channel 12.2, or CinCW) before Monday’s premiere. Says Pam McDonald, public affairs vice president for the Cincinnati office: "I’m really optimistic that a decision will be rendered (by Time Warner corporate) between now and the end of the week, with the premiere scheduled for next Monday. We continue to be in really positive discussions. I’m optimistic," she says. Channel 12’s owners want a basic cable channel for the CinCW, as it will be in Northern Kentucky on Insight Communications, so most people can see it. Insight is moving low-power WBQC-TV (Channel 38), which will have no network when UPN ceases operation this weekend, from Channel 25 to Channel 189 next week. CinCW will get Channel 25. If Time Warner adds CinCW, don’t be surprised if WBQC gets knocked off basic too. One more thing: No, the CinCW won't be in HDTV. Channel 12 folks say they can't do both Ch. 12 and CW in HD. I’ll keep posting as I know more.
TV tonight Jerry Springer make his dancing debut on the "Dancing with the Stars" season premiere today (, Ch 9, 22). Both Springer and TV Guide predict he’ll be the first voted off Wednesday. But he could hang in there. Remember how bad Master P. was last winter? And how long he lasted? Springer told me last month: “The only way to keep me on is if everyone wants to see me suffer.” btw: We’re doing a Springer poll on Cincinnati.com after the show tonight.
Men in Trees ABC rolls out its first show after "DWTS," Anne Heche’s "Men in Trees" (10 pm). Think "Northern Exposure." Heche plays a widly successful relationship author whose personal life is a mess. Of course. She gets marooned in Alaska on a book tour, and decides to stay. (The title comes from a roadside work sign where a crew is trimming trees.) It’s OK as a pilot, but I doubt if the premise will hold up for 13 (or more) episodes.
TV Questions Our list of returning shows Monday prompted several questions: --Is "Medium" coming back? Yes, it's in production for midseason on NBC. --Is "Everwood" coming back? No. It was canceled by the new CW in May.
This just in from "24" James Cromwell ("Babe," "Six Feet Under") and Eddie Izzard ("Dress to Kill," "My Super Ex-Girlfriend") will join season six of "24" premiering in January on Fox. Cromwell will recur this season as Phillip Bauer, Jack's estranged dad. Izzard "will portray a villainous accomplice" named Darren McCarthy. Also joining the cast: Harry Lennix ("Commander in Chief"), Kal Penn ("Harold & Kumar"), Marisol Nichols ("In Justice") and Alexander Siddig ("Syriana"). Eric Balfour and Carlo Rota will be back as CTU contractors. "24" will pick up 20 months after the story line ended in May, when Bauer was captured by Chinese government agents.
"Charlie’s Angels." "Party of Five." "M*A*S*H." "Married… with Children." "Little House on the Prairie." "Everybody Loves Raymond." Those are just a few of the reruns coming to Cincinnati’s new CW affiliate, WKRC-TV’s new digital Channel 12.2 (aka CinCW). A week from today, Cincinnati will have its first new TV station in more than 15 years. The digital station will be carried by Insight and DirecTV (each on Channel 25) -- but still no deal with TimeWarner. Channel 12 executives have been negotiating with Time Warner for a basic channel, so all customers will get it. But as I said, no deal yet -- with only a week to go! CW prime-time debuts Sept. 18 with a "7th Heaven" repeat, and a "Gilmore Girls" rerun on Sept. 19, before the season premeire Wednesday of "America’s Next Top Model." The daytime schedule also includes reruns of "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire," "Family Feud," "Simon & Simon," "NewsRadio" and Garry Sullivan’s "HomeWorx." The CW also programs 3-5 weekdays with double runs of "What I Like About You" and "Reba." If I hear any news about Time Warner and the CW, I'll post it instantly.
Dancing Jerrys This sounds bizarre: Before Jerry Springer debuts on "Dancing with the Stars," the "Dancing Jerrys" look-alikes will entertain folks at a "DWTS" viewing party Tuesday night at the 20th Century Theatre in Oakley. WSAI-AM (1360) has organized the viewing party, which starts at Dancers from two local studios and the "Dancing Jerrys" – dancers with wigs, glasses and fake noses -- will perform before the ABC broadcast. A $5 donation benefits the St. Vincent DePaul Society.
And then there were three: Barb Abney, the "DJ Princess" at WOXY.com, has accepted a job as morning music host on on KCMP-FM (89.3), "The Current," a Minnesota Public Radio alternative music station in St. Paul.
WOXY.com signs off at next Friday, Sept. 15, after 26 months as an 'net-only station, due to financial troubles. All four staffers – Bryan Jay Miller, Matt Shiv, Mike Taylor and Abney – plan to sign off the station together. Abney started at Oxford's WOXY-FM , "The Future of Rock and Roll," in 1994. Two months after the Balough's sold the Oxford station in 2004, the format was relaunched as interet-only www.WOXY.com Starting Oct. 3, Abney’sfans can hear her on The Current’s website www.mpr.org/thecurrent
My Oh My Space Did you see that Channel 9’s “Good Morning Tri-State” has apage at myspace.com? http://www.myspace.com/gmts I saw it on the station’s website Wednesday, with photos of anchors Kathrine Nero and David Rose.
The details: Status: Single Hometown: Cincinnati Zodiac Sign: Cancer Who I’d Like To Meet: Anyone with GMTS story ideas or a guest suggestion. Friends: Just one as of this morning, Tom from Santa Monica, Calif.
Just like old times on WMKV Now we know that more than just old-time radio shows and some announcers moved this summer from Xavier's old WVXU-FM by WMKV-FM (89.3). They’ve also picked up WVXU-FM’s old fund drives! I turned on the station last night for "Mystery Playhouse" old radio shows and heard Doc King – for WVXU-FM general manager Dr. Jim King, a WMKV-FM consultant – back on the air, asking listeners for money, along with Mike Martini and Mark Magistrelli, former WVXU guys now working on WMKV. And his morning, station manager George Zahn was doing the fund-drive pitches. Just like old times. I bet the pledge breaks came as a shock to the long-time WMKV listeners...
Stephen J. Cannell in town Caught Stephen J. Cannell at Joseph-Beth Booksellers last night, before he signed copies of his "White Sister" novel. He’s written 11 novels since selling his Cannell Studios in 1995, when government rules changed to allow the networks to own studios. (At the time he employed about 2,000 people, one of the largest independent studios in LA.) Besides writing a book a year, Cannell has kept his hand in the business by doing some producing (including the upcoming "The A-Team" movie) and by acting. He just completed shooting "Cold Snap," a two-hour Sci Fi Channel movie. He’s one of the three leads, along with Patrick Muldoon and Denise Williams. Cannell is one of my favorite people from the TV world, because of what he overcame to become such a prolific writer. He didn’t figure out he was dyslexic until after college. He flunked four grades (4th, 6th, 10th and 11th), and graduated next-to-last in his high school class, where he was a star running back. He attended the University of Oregon ona football scholarship, but never played a down because he was academically ineligible. He says his high school football success was the only source for self-esteem, because academics were a nightmare for him. He encouraged all parents to find something their children can do well, and praise them and encourage them. He also retold one of my favorite stories -- how he was called by Brandon Tartikoff, the legendary NBC programmer, and pitched a show called "MTV Cops." Cannell didn't have cable, and didn't know what he was talking about, so he turned it down. Tartikoff then called producer Michael Mann, who got the concept -- and created "Miami Vice."
You saw what my viewer panel thought of Katie Couric's debut... what did you think? I thought she was OK, but what I expected. I think she'll get better reading the TelePrompter. They goofed by having too much soft features -- "Free Speech" and "Snapshots." But they'll figure it out. After huge ratings Tuesday night, my guess is that people will go back to Brian and Charlie. I didn't see her interview tonight with President Bush. How was it?